I've been trying to get some new Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook laptops imaged via Scripted Install, which is our preferred way of setting up computers. I was able to load USB to Ethernet drivers into the KBE and boot into the windows installation.

Before it got too far in the setup using our standard scripted install, it gave me this error: "Windows cannot locate the disk and partition specified in the unattend answer file's <ImageInstall> setting"

So, thinking it was a problem with our autounattend file, I created a new scripted installation without one, so I'd have to go through all the configuration steps.  When it got to window to select the installation disk, it gave me this error: "Setup was unable to create a new system parittion or locate an existing system parition." However, I could see the partition in the window, I could reformat it, etc, but it kept giving me the same error. 

Thinking it was a storage driver issue, I loaded the SATA driver to the KBE from this page and rebuilt a new KBE environment to try. http://www.dell.com/support/drivers/us/en/04/DriversHome/?c=us&s=bsd&cs=04&l=en.  It gave the same result. 

While it was booted to the windows installation image, I opened a command prompt window (Shift+F10) and ran diskpart. I manually ran the following commands: 


select disk 0
create partition primary
select partition 1


It still wouldn't install. During the windows installation, I tried to load the driver through the gui as well, still no luck.  

So now I'm stuck. Has anyone gotten the Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook to go through a Windows 7 64-bit Scripted Install on the K2000? 

0 Comments   [ + ] Show comments


Community Chosen Answer


UPDATE! So the XPS13 now supports PXE with the latest BIOS A06 however according to Dell inorder for PXE to work though you will need to purchase the http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=bsd&cs=04&sku=a6003700 however I have yet to receive this dongle to test. BUT... I did figure out a way to get a scripted install deployed for the time being.

Step 1: Create a USB Boot Environment with the appropriate drivers.

Step 2: Plug the newly created USB KBE into the usb port that is next to the power adapter port. DO NOT PLUG IN THE USB-to-ETHERNET ADAPTER YET

Step 3: Boot to the USB KBE

Step 4: Wait for the KBE to load and and fail with a message that it was unable to connect to the K2000

Step 5: Unplug the USB key from the USB 2 port next to the power adapter plug and now plug in you USB-to-Ethernet adapter to that same USB port next to the power adapter plug

Step 6: Once the USB-to-Ethernet adapter powers on and has link type in startnet.cmd

Step 7: The KBE load process will once again begin and you will eventually end up in the KBE environment able to deploy scripted installs or system images.




Answered 07/19/2012 by: scriptingninja
Fifth Degree Black Belt

  • This worked for me. I think it has something to do with the fact that the usb on the right side is USB 3.0 and the left is USB 2. I ended up putting the USB KBE drive and the USB ethernet (Cisco one bought from Dell) on a USB hub and connected the the left USB port and its working.
  • Worked for me as well. I used the Apple USB->eNet adapter (with a 3rd party driver that I scrounged somewhere). I used a hub too as mentioned by pitterchi.
    • Hi, can you point me to a link with the winpe drivers for the "Apple USB" ?
  • This content is currently hidden from public view.
    Reason: Removed by user request
    For more information, visit our FAQ's.
  • Pretty sure this is what I used (it's been a while): http://ashleyangell.com/2010/09/windows-7-drivers-for-apples-usb-ethernet-adapter/

All Answers


I tried to do a Scripted Install on an XPS 13 as well and had similar problems. I am curious whether ANYONE has had a successful Scripted Install with the new Dell Ultrabooks. We purchased one as a test with the idea of possibly making them our new standard. I had to give up and do a manual install since I had someone waiting for the computer. I couldn't get a clear answer fom KACE support as to whether the XPS 13 had been tested with KACE or not. 

Answered 05/31/2012 by: etipton
Second Degree Green Belt


I can't troubleshoot anymore since I no longer have an XPS 13 to test with but perhaps this will help someone. This is the information I provided to KACE support:


I built a new KBE with JUST the NIC & Storage drivers for the XPS13 (no other drivers at all in the kbe_windows_x64 folder) and put it on the USB drive with the same result. Again, I can boot into the KBE from the USB drive fine and the system can see the K2000, the drives map OK ,etc. The scripted install starts OK and appears to perform the following steps without a problem:

1. Create a single Partition
2. Format as NTFS
3. Install Vista/2008/7 MBR

But it doesn't get any further than that. That's when I get the following error:

  "Windows cannot locate the disk and partition specified in the unattend answer file's <ImageInstall> setting...."

As a troubleshooting step, from the KBE environment, at the command prompt, I navigated to Y:\source_cds\16\ (where Win7 64bit Windows installs from) and executed setup.exe from the command prompt. The "Where do you want to install Windows" step, is where the problem occurs. The drive shows up Ok (Disk 0 Partition 1, 238.4gb, Type=System). However, when I select the drive and click "Next", I get the following error:

   "Setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing system partition. See the Setup log files for more information"

I tried clicking Drive Options (Advanced) then deleting the parition, recreating but get the same error as above.

As a further troubleshooting step (still in KBE), I did a Diskpart then "Detail Disk" and I notice that "Boot Disk" is set to "No" so perhaps this is a clue to the problem?

One more thing, at the "Where do you want to install Windows" step, I also tried the "Load Driver" option and added the drivers for the XPS Sata drive to no avail.  


And here are the last suggestions from them.....that came after I had already deployed the system (had already tried most of these):

1. go into the bios and make sure the hdd is 'enabled' as a boot device, i.e. there is a check by it under boot sequence and that it is listed first.
2. make sure to use the f12 one time boot menu option to boot to usb. DO NOT Disable the HDD or move it to a lower entry on the boot menu.
3. do you have any card readers, etc. besides the kbe usb?
4. if you do diskpart > list disks before he starts the SI and takes a snapshot and same after you get the error, that would also help determine the issue.
5. are you booting to usb because you can't enable pxe on your network or ?
6. please can upload your unattend.xml to provide more details

Answered 05/31/2012 by: etipton
Second Degree Green Belt

  • Looks like we ran into the same problem. Looking at their suggested steps, there's nothing new for me to try - there are no other disks plugged in other than the USB key it's booting from (and I've even unplugged that after it got to the windows installation), my BIOS settings and boot order are all correct, no card readers, list disks doesn't show anything wrong that I can see, and of course it doesn't support PXE - it's usb to ethernet. Anyway, I'm just ranting now...
  • One would think that since a Dell product and because it's in high-demand that they would have tested it in the KACE lab.....and at the very least it would be easy to get an answer as to whether it is even possible to do an SI on these things. For us it's a dealbreaker if it doesn't work with KACE.

    I kept feeling like it was something with disk partitioning perhaps in combination with booting from USB. May not be related but I seemed to have intermittent problems with the USB port recognizing devices. Even installing Win7 from CD gave me problems - it kept asking for a driver for the CD drive (there wasn't one).

    Would definitely like to hear from anyone that got this working!

I'm told that your error could be due to the fact that the HDD was accidentally disabled in the BIOS.  Even though it is disabled, diskpart can still see it.


Check that and let us know.

Lead L3 Enterprise Solutions Engineer, K2000
If my response was helpful, please rate it!

Answered 06/06/2012 by: cserrins
Red Belt


The fix by Scriptninja worked for me, despite booting to MDT from a USB pen Diskpart wouldn't see it as a drive when plugged into the right hand USB port. It work fine when plugged into the left hand port next to the power switch and OS installed successfully.

Answered 10/19/2012 by: steveL
White Belt

  • The suggestions in that article did not resolve the problem. I have tried unplugging everything, and I have formatted the disk too many times. The disk is listed as "active" and not "dynamic," so I don't know what the issue is. I wonder if it's something to do with the disk being an SSD? Or with the KBE needing to be loaded from a USB drive since it doesn't have Ethernet or a DVD drive?
  • Something I didn't notice before - When I do "list disk" in diskpart, it says Size: 119gb; Free 0B. So it thinks the drive is full or unusable. The Status is "Online", and there is nothing listed under "Dyn" or "Gpt."

    When I run the "Clean" command, the free space goes back up to 119gb instead of 0B. But when I run "create partition primary," the free space goes back to 0B. However, when diskpart says the free space is 0B, the Install Windows window where you select the disk to install the OS says the whole disk is free space. It also lists the drive type as "system."
    Actually, just realized that diskpart is correct to list free space as 0B, because the primary partition is taking up the whole space of the disk, so there's 0B of unused space....

I am having the same problems.  If anyone can help me with a walkthrough of how you did a scripted installation on an xps13 that would be wonderful.

Answered 06/20/2012 by: lan.pham
Third Degree Blue Belt

Don't be a Stranger!

Sign up today to participate, stay informed, earn points and establish a reputation for yourself!

Sign up! or login